January 2010

Today was my dad’s last day here so we spent some time at Sambookies and walked down Ben Yehuda street.  Here are some of the pictures of the day.  By the way, today is National Plant a Tree Day here in Israel. 

It was crazy on Ben Yahuda St.  In celebration of plant a tree day, there were a number people dressed like plants and trees. Dad loved it.

This is one strange looking lily.

After our time on Ben Yehuda, we took a long stroll back to our place.  On the way, my dad had to take a picture with the windmill.  I guess I would question what kind of Dutchman he was if he hadn’t.

After the windmill and a stroll through a park, my dad found some new friends.  It is too bad they can’t go home with him.

He will be leaving on a shuttle back to the airport in a couple of hours.  It has been great having him here.  We were able to see more of Israel and show him how we have been living for the past couple of months.  We hope that he had a great time with us and we will be really excited to see him again in May.  Thanks for the great time dad.


This morning Grandpa and Joanna made rice crispy treat houses.

This afternoon Brandon and Bill went to Bethlehem. They saw the Church of the Nativity, Shepherd’s Field and their taxi driver insisted that they go to the Milk Grotto.

Bill actually got to see the star, marking the tradition place of Jesus’ birth. Typically the line is over an hour long, but he only had to wait 15 minutes.

Here they are at the fountain in Shepherd’s Field.

Here’s a look inside the Milk Grotto (I’ll let you google that one yourself if you want more info.)

We can hardly believe that his week here is nearly over. We have just a few local things planned for tomorrow and then it’s off to the airport.

This morning we all piled in the car for a trip to Masada and the Dead Sea.

Although you’ve already seen several pictures from Masada, we thought this is a new one. This is a columbarium tower which housed pigeons in  the little compartments.  Pigeons were equal to today’s email.  Pigeons always fly back to their birthplace so the Romans would tie a message to the pigeon and release it.  For example, a pigeon born at Herod’s palace in Jerusalem would be taken to Masada and it’s birthplace noted. When a message had to be sent from Masada to Jerusalem, they would attach it to this bird and release it to return to Jerusalem. Pigeons were the fastest way of communication.  In addition to providing messages, the pigeon droppings were used for fertilizer and the feathers were used for pillows. 

This is Grandpa Bill and Joanna on the top of Masada looking towards the Dead Sea.

Dad floated in the Dead Sea. The water was very rough and he had a hard time dodging the waves but at least we got a couple of pics of him on the water.

Tomorrow we’re headed to Bethlehem.

For the past couple of days my dad and I went to the Mediterranean Sea to tour Caesarea and Akko.  It was really cold as there was a strong breeze off the water and it was raining.  But, we stuck it out and enjoyed our time at those sites. 

Dad waving from the steps of the theater in Caesarea. 

It rained on us at the Akko harbor. Akko is one of the world’s oldest known seaports. It was already established in the times of the Phoenicians (possibly as early as 1200 BC).

Me in the rain 🙂

Today we spent time around the Sea of Galilee.  It didn’t rain, but it was still a little chilly. Here’s Dad at the Church of Beatitudes.  (He also lost his hat there.  Thank goodness I was able to find it and save the day.)

And here he is at Capernaum.

Taking a dip in the Sea! 

Standing on the banks of the Jordan River (and no it was not commercialized when Jesus was baptized.) 

Our last stop of the day was Beit Shean. Dad is standing on stage in this picture.

Tomorrow we’re headed to the Dead Sea and Massada.

We wanted to do a post last night but the batteries had died in both cameras. Today Brandon and Bill headed to the Sea of Galilee for a couple days. When they get back Tuesday night we’ll write another post about their adventures.

Another rainy day here today and it’s really cold and windy. Joanna and I are staying inside. We’re hoping the 70 degree weather predicted for later this week happens. Heat wave!

Brandon’s dad arrived late yesterday afternoon. Last night we just took it easy after his long days of flying. Brandon did teach him Sheish Beish and Bill wanted you to know that the score is 23-3, in Bill’s favor. The game is to 31! They’re finishing up that game tonight.

This morning we took Joanna to the park. She had fun playing with Grandpa.

While Joanna and I napped this afternoon, Brandon and Bill walked down the Mount of Olives,

shopped in the Arab Shuk near Damascus gate

and went to the Garden Tomb. The Garden Tomb is one of the 2 places believed to be the tomb where Jesus was laid.

More adventures after church tomorrow.

Since Brandon’s classes don’t start again until Feb. 1, he’s been keeping busy painting at JUC. It’s been quite the experience for him, especially since he’s worked for professional painters in the states. One of his first projects was to repaint the classroom walls and ceiling. Hundreds off egg cartons were glued to the ceiling to help acoustics 20 years ago. He and another guy had to tear them off, scrape the ceiling and then paint with rollers all while standing on ladders. JUC doesn’t have scaffolding. Looks pretty good now, doesn’t it?

Since then they’ve painted the hallway, several doors and windows and now they started a bathroom. This picture of the hallway gives you an idea of how tall the ceilings are. You can also see that they painted the bottom glossy and the top flat. The glossy part is about up to my shoulders.

Tomorrow afternoon Brandon’s dad comes which means tomorrow morning is his last day to work. We are grateful he had this opportunity to earn a few extra bucks while we’re here.

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